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Why Did You Make White Sand As A Graphic Novel?

For those who don’t know, White Sand is a book I wrote around the same time as Elantris—but which I didn’t ever sell. Once I was published, I considered releasing it, but felt it needed a solid revision before I could do so.

Well, that revision was delayed time and time again, until the point where I decided I probably would need to just rewrite the book from scratch if I ever did release it. An interesting opportunity came along a few years later, however, and that changed my perspective. You see, the comic book company Dynamite Entertainment had come asking if I had anything, perhaps an unpublished novel, that would make a good graphic novel.

This seemed the perfect opportunity to make use of White Sand. I didn’t have time to do revisions, but another writer could take my words and adapt them (really, what the book needed was a trim anyway) into a graphic edition. We said yes, and started into the process.

So far this has been a fantastic experience. I’m super excited to be doing this. For years we’ve wanted to do a graphic novel of one of my books, but I dragged my feet because I knew that my fans would want something new, not just an adaptation of one of the stories they’ve already read.

White Sand is actually the very first book I started writing when I was nineteen, and the book was awful. It always felt really bad to me that my very first book was this wonderful world where my inspiration was saying, “What else can someone do with a desert planet? I love Dune. I don’t want to do Dune. Can I do something new? Can I do something different?” And this idea turned out to be really good, but my skill was not up to the task. So, many years later I did what I did when writing The Way of Kings the most recent time. I threw away the original White Sand, and I wrote it again from scratch. More to get out of my system this regret, to say, “Now I’ve done you justice.” I finished that book, but I’ve never found a chance to fit it to the schedule, in part because I always had other epic fantasies that were more pressing and whose sequels I had contracted for. So, we never quite had a chance to release this book. Doing it as a graphic novel now is the perfect opportunity to let me show off this book and this world I created–which has, in my opinion, one of my best magic systems–in a new and interesting way and can finally let you all see the very first book that I started writing in its now third incarnation.

I’ve said before, Dynamite has been excellent to work with. I’ve hand chosen the artist and the writer who will be working on this. Rik Hoskin, the person hired to do the adaptation, is a fantastic writer—and he really managed to preserve the core of my story, using my own dialogue and descriptions, while cutting out all the chaff. The artist Julius Gopez, the colorist Ross Campbell, the letterer Marshall Dillon, and the editor Rich Young have all done a fabulous great job.

The novel is big (no surprise), so it’s being released as three graphic novels.

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